Debt management: how to keep track of what you owe
When you take out any sort of loan – even something as simple as borrowing money from family – it’s important to keep track of what you owe, who you owe, and when you need to make repayments. The obvious advantage to this is that it minimises the risk of missing a payment (or making overpayments which could result in penalties depending on clauses of your agreement), and can even help you to repay your loan faster. However, there’s another great advantage: keeping track of what you owe puts you in complete control of your finances, keeping those stress levels down.
What is a debt management system?
A debt management system is a way of helping you monitor and track your credit and finance. However, while building a plan is often easy, sticking to it isn’t always quite so simple. That’s why it’s vital for borrowers to understand the different ways to keep track of what they owe, finding a solution that works well for them.
Here are three handy tips for keeping track of your borrowing and repayment schedule:
1. Consolidate your repayments
A common mistake made by borrowers who have taken out multiple loans from multiple lenders is to treat each loan as a separate entity. While these loans may well be distinct from an official standpoint, if you’re making all repayments from the same account then it makes sense to informally consolidate your loans and view all repayments as one. This can provide a clear overview of what you owe in total each month, and the overall amount remaining.
2. Create a budget
Looking to the future is also a good way to help you keep track of what you owe. Take a few moments to set up a monthly budget, working your future loan repayments into the plan. This can provide a way for you to visualise your repayments and ensure you’re left with enough to make the necessary payments to each lender each month. As an added bonus, being able to see when your debts are due to be paid off can provide great motivation to stick to the plan.
3. Use an app
Today, there are mobile apps for absolutely everything, including debt management. There are many types of app that will allow you to enter the details of your current loans and automatically track your repayments. If you’ve borrowed from friends or family, there are also apps that allow for both parties to monitor the financial situation and make changes as needed. And if you’re not comfortable using an app, a good old spreadsheet will do the trick!
Imagine adding up all of your outgoings, splitting out all of the lump sum debts (those loans, credit cards, home credit, etc) add the total all of those debt up and add up how much you are paying each month. Now look a how much you would pay for a loan of that amount over 12 and 24 mnths, if it is less (which it usually is) look into consolidating, but instead of spending the money you save each month on luxuries, overpay on your loan each month to pay it off more quickly.
Contact us at Simple if you have any questions on this matter